SDLT transactions register 48% annual rise

The total number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) transactions in the first quarter of 2021 saw a 48% rise from the same period in 2020, new figures from HMRC have revealed.

The figure also reflected a marginal increase of 1% compared to those in Q4 2020.

HMRC highlighted the increase in transactions in the last three quarters have likely been impacted by the introduction of the SDLT holiday for residential properties, which has helped to offset the decrease caused by the impact of COVID-19.

The figures also showed that residential property transactions in Q1 2021 were 2% higher than in Q4 2020, and 53% higher than in Q1 2020. The total of non-residential property transactions in Q1 2021 was 7% lower than in Q4 2020, but 6% higher than in Q1 2020.

Commenting on the data, Masthaven Bank director of intermediaries, Rob Barnard, suggested the stamp duty holiday had “successfully injected energy into the market”.

“But with the June deadline creeping closer, both lenders and brokers need to work collaboratively to ensure transactions are processed in time,” Barnard highlighted.
 
“While the tax holiday has been beneficial for many buyers, it’s also important to remember there are many would-be borrowers who have been unable to take advantage of the tax break, because of the impact of the pandemic on their finances. Specialist lenders and mortgage brokers need to work closely to ensure these individuals have alternative financial solutions at their disposal.”

Mortgage Engine managing director, Cloe Atkinson, commented: “The tax holiday has certainly been a success by any metric and current activity levels are further proof of the resilience of brokers, lenders and borrowers alike.

“Over the last year, the virus has forced the industry to reshape the way consumers buy property and led to a great deal of adaption and innovation to overcome the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic. 
 
“Technology has been important for all parties in transitioning to this new way of completing purchases and the industry has seen a large increase in the use of tech solutions, such as remote viewings and automated valuation models.”

TMA development director, Lisa Martin, added: “While this demand is likely to continue over the coming months, it will also be interesting to see whether there is greater appetite from buyers to make the most of the stamp duty cut in certain regions, ahead of the initial deadline in June.

“For example, we may see a greater number of borrowers making house purchases in specific areas of the country where there’s the potential for better house price growth, while they can continue to save on stamp duty costs.
 
“Over the coming weeks and months, it will be vital for lenders and brokers to work collaboratively in order to ensure that all transactions are processed on time.”

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